Elementor #1281

Healthy Shamrock Shake

‘Tis the season of all things GREEN! 

I’ll be honest, I’ve never had the OG Shamrock Shake from the (in)famous fast food place. Not that I don’t love mint and ice cream, but the vivid, fake green color (and of course the loads of sugar) just wasn’t for me!

To honour my Irish roots and celebrate my nephew Mason and his dog “Lucky”, who both have birthdays on March 17th, I thought I’d try to recreate a healthier version of this March treat.

Sweet "Lucky"

This shake comes together in a flash! I opted to make mine “Super Powered” by adding in some baby spinach. Spinach is a great choice, as its flavor won’t overpower the mint. Feel free to experiment with other leafy greens.

You could also add some protein in the form of an unsweetened protein powder or collagen peptides.

The ingredients...plus my optional add-in of baby spinach

Simply dump all the ingredients into your blender and mix until smooth and creamy! 

Dump and blend! Doesn't get any easier!


Once it’s all blended, taste and adjust for sweetness and “minty-ness”. Pour into serving glasses or bowls and garnish. With a full avocado and the coconut milk, this is very filling! The recipe says 2 servings, but I think you could stretch it to 3 or 4 easily!

I experimented with and without spinach. You can see the difference in color below.

Without spinach...garnished with grated dark chocolate
With spinach...garnished with raw cacao nibs

You’ll notice that I serve my smoothie with a SPOON.  Even with smoothies, it’s important to chew your food! When we chew, and move food around our mouths, our brains get important information about what type of nutrients are in the food we are eating. It is then able to trigger the release of the digestive juices and enzymes we need to properly digest and absorb the nutrients.

There are also enzymes in our saliva and, as we chew, we are allowing these enzymes to start to work on the food and lessens the work that needs to be done further down the digestive line.

Enjoy! Sláinte!


May your troubles be less and your blessings more and nothing but happiness come through your door.
Irish Blessing

Shamrock Shake

A much healthier version of the St Paddy's Day favourite, this shake is free of refined sugar and loaded with healthy fats!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 2


  • 1 High Speed Blender
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Knife


  • 1 avocado ripe
  • 1 cup coconut milk may sub with other dairy or non dairy milk alternative
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • ~20 leaves fresh mint adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp maple syrup adjust to taste
  • Dark Chocolate or Cacao Nibs for garnish
  • See Recipe Notes for optional add ins!!!


  • Remove pit and peel from avocado.
  • Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into serving glasses/bowls.
  • Garnish with grated/shaved dark chocolate or cocoa nibs and enjoy!


Optional Add-ins
  1. Make it a Super Powered Shamrock Shake by adding in 1 packed cup of baby spinach (it really ups the green quotient too!)
  2. Add in your favourite unsweetened protein powder or collagen peptides for an added Protein Kick!
  3. Swap out the maple syrup for 1/2 to 1  banana (frozen would work great here too!)
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, healthy fats, refined sugar free

How to Shop with Health in Mind

5 Tips for a Healthy Grocery Shop

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The holiday season is winding up for most of us and I head back to the PNW tomorrow after a wonderful, soul rejuvenating, extended visit with family in the Motherland. 6 weeks away from my regular routine is a long time and I know the first thing I need to do (after an extended snuggle-fest with my fur baby), is to stock the fridge with food!! 

I mean…you just gotta snuggle this guy!

For many, the New Year is a time to reset and recommit to those healthy habits that may have fallen by the wayside during all the holiday fun. Gyms will be popular again, google searches for cleanses will go through the roof, but the best way to support a healthy lifestyle and get back on track is to make sure you have healthy food on hand!

I’m a weirdo. I enjoy grocery shopping, but I know for many it is a CHORE! You find it hard enough carving out time to shop, let alone figuring out what you should and shouldn’t be filling your cart with!

So here’s my TOP 5 TIPS for grocery shopping with your health in mind.

1.  Is it a WHOLE food?

Most of the food we eat should whole, single ingredient foods – foods that are unprocessed, unrefined, and still recognizable as something you would find in nature! Processing can damage or strip nutrients from the food; chemical additives, like colours, flavours or preservatives, and other ingredients, such as sugar and vegetable oils, contribute to the damaging effects of processed foods as well.

2. Think Variety

Don’t get stuck in a rut! We want to be eating a wide range of foods. Mix up the selection in your fruit and veggie selections. Be daring and try something new! In our Standard American Diets, approximately 60% of the calories come from soy, wheat and corn. That’s means we are leaving A LOT of good nutrition on the table by missing out on all the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals in colourful fruits and vegetables. 

Try to “Eat The Rainbow”. Can you get at least one fruit or vegetable from each colour in the rainbow on your plate daily?

Eating a wide variety of plant foods is also great for supporting your microbiome (the beneficial bacteria in our guts that support overall health). The more varieties of plants consumed, the more robust and diverse the microbiome.

3. Think Seasonally

Eating with the seasons is one way to increase the diversity in your diet and allow us to consume a wide range of nutrients that changes often. Choosing seasonal produce can often mean getting more nutrient dense produce. It hasn’t been stored in a warehouse for months, slowing losing its nutrient potency. A quick google search can give you an idea of what is in season in your region, so you can add some seasonal goodies to your cart!

5 Tips for a Healthy Grocery Shop
There’s some YUMMY choices on this list!

4. Think Locally

Depending on where you live, this is easier said than done. If you live in a temperate climate with long growing seasons, you are going to have an easier time sourcing local food than someone who lives under 4 feet of snow for 6 months of the year!

Farmers Markets, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships, your own garden are all great places to get fresh, local produce. Because it is freshly harvested, the nutrient density is going to be much higher than the same thing that was harvested, stored and transported many miles to reach your local grocery store.

Some extra bonuses of eating local are that you are supporting local farmers, eating what is in season on the farms and, because it hasn’t travelled long distances, it is better environmentally!

5. Think Quality

I know organic produce is expensive and, for the most part, looks exactly like its cheaper, conventional cousin.  So what’s the difference? 

Different countries have different regulations around the term “organic”. In the U.S., certified organic means annual audits are conducted to ensure the following standards are met: 

– No synthetic fertilizers or pesticides

– No antibiotics or hormones 

– No GMOs

In today’s world, we are exposed to a multitude of toxins on a daily basis. On top of just adding to our toxic load and stressing our detoxification system, many of these toxins are potential carcinogens and/or endocrine disruptors (meaning they affect our hormone balance). We don’t always have control over what we are exposed to, so it’s important to focus on areas where we CAN lessen our exposure. Eating organic is one way to do that. 

For more information about Organic Vs Conventional check out THIS post I wrote.

So how do you go about fitting organic into your budget? Do what you can with what you have.  I’d rather see someone chomping through a bunch of conventionally grown carrots than diving headfirst into a box of Oreos!  Follow the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists and choose your organic produce from those that may have the highest pesticide residue.  

5 Tips for a Healthy Grocery Shop

One last tip? Whenever possible, get to know your local farmers/producers!  Many smaller farms follow all the organic standards, but simply do not have the money to get “certified”.  Ask questions about their product. If they are proud of their processes, they will be happy to share!

The RESTART® Program

The RESTART® Program - Start your journey to better health now!

It’s hard to believe summer is soon coming to an end. As much as I’ll hate to see the Pacific Northwest rain clouds replace the summer sunshine, I do love autumn. The colourful leaves, crisp air on morning walks, cozy sweaters and swapping out grilled foods for some comforting, slow cooked fare – all are great reasons to embrace the change of the season!

As the weather changes outside, it’s also a great time to check in with our internal environment and how we are feeling. Tuning into our bodies and the subtle messages they send us is something most of us need to work on. Our lifestyles and responsibilities keep us focused on, and prioritizing, pretty much everything but ourselves! We take our cars in for regular inspections (or, um, we should), so we should definitely be doing regular “mileage” inspections on the state of our well-being!

Check-in With Yourself

Take a few minutes during your day. Find someplace quiet and free of distractions. Drop out of your stressed, fight and flight state by taking several slow, deep belly breaths. Now – what are you noticing? Some questions you might ask yourself are:

How’s my energy level? Are you dragging yourself through the day, fuelled on caffeine and sugar? Do you need to snack to make it through to your next meal?

How am I sleeping? Are you getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep? Do you wake up during the night and can’t fall back asleep? Do you wake up tired or refreshed?

How’s my digestion? Symptoms like heartburn, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pains, stools that float or are light coloured, or undigested food in the stool are all warning lights that require some attention.

Am I nourished? Feeding ourselves regularly doesn’t necessarily mean we are nourishing ourselves. Relying on packaged and processed foods, hitting the drive thru on the reg and consuming foods high in sugar might fill the belly, but they aren’t fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs to work optimally.

What other things are showing up that aren’t “normal”? – Headaches? Joint Pain? Anxiety? Skin rashes? We often get so used to these type of symptoms that they become our status quo. They may be common, but they aren’t NORMAL. Symptoms are your body’s warning lights and it’s way of telling you something isn’t right!!

Now that you’ve run through your checklist, what have you discovered?

It could be you realize summer ice creams have become a daily occurrence or you completely Hulk out on anyone in your vicinity when you miss your between meal snack. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you slept through the night or perhaps the drive-thru guy knows you by name. You might realize your bathroom has become your second home or, you can’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong, but you know you just don’t feel your best. If any of these things hit home, it may be time for a RESTART®.

What is RESTART®?

The RESTART® program is a 5 week, online, group program that combines loads of nutritional education and a 3 week sugar detox. When you add in the element of group support, it’s a powerful (and fun!) combination.

Who should RESTART®?

Whether you have been dabbling in healthy eating for awhile or don’t know your kale from your kohlrabi, RESTART® is for you! It’s the perfect combination of education and action that teaches you, not only how food affects us, but lets you experience how powerful real food can be. RESTART® is great for individuals, couples or families. You can join with a friend to have an accountability buddy or make pals in class or the free Facebook group.

Since the classes are conducted via Zoom, you can join from the comfort of home, no matter where in the world you are located!


Maybe the question should be “Why NOT RESTART®”? Let’s face it, most of us need to do a better job of putting ourselves, and our health, first. Self-care isn’t selfish! To paraphrase a quote from Katie Reed, self care allows you to give the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you!

Everybody gets a little something different out of the RESTART® program. Below is a list of some of the benefits RESTART® participants have experienced.

Benefits of the RESTART® Program

Where and When is RESTART®?

I’m super excited to be offering THREE different class times this fall! All classes are conducted live on Zoom.

How can I register for RESTART®?

If you think you could use a RESTART®, you can register for class by clicking HERE.

If you have more questions about RESTART®, visit the RESTART® page on this website or send me a message HERE. I’d love to chat with you about it!

Oh! One last thing! If you don’t see a class time that fits your schedule, contact me. I’m happy schedule additional group classes (minimum of 4 participants) at a date and time that works for everyone!

What are you waiting for? Go on! Get (RE)STARTED!!

The Monday Mention – Put Your Heart In Your Mouth by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

The Monday Mention: Put Your Heart in Your Mouth by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

In her book Put Your Heart in Your Mouth, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride delves into the true cause of heart disease and many other degenerative diseases. By exploring the many processes our bodies use to heal and repair themselves, she shows us that the true culprits behind the modern-day heart disease epidemic are not, as we have so often been told, cholesterol and saturated fat. In fact, these wrongly vilified substances are vital parts of the body’s healing process. The true villain in this story is inflammation or, to be more precise, chronic inflammation resulting from our modern lifestyles. High stress, diets of processed and refined food, as well as toxins in our environment, home, on our bodies and in our foods, all lead to damage in our blood vessels.

Dr. Campbell-McBride devotes a section of the book to explaining how necessary cholesterol is to our health. She explains that, along with saturated fats, it has received the brunt of the blame for coronary artery disease simply because they are present in the plaques seen in atherosclerosis. Once one understands that cholesterol and saturated fat are essential in the formation of strong cellular walls and necessary in the repair of injured tissue, we begin to see how inflammation is at the core of the problem. The author explains that chronic, unrelenting inflammation means that the repair of the tissue must also be occurring constantly. This constant repair is what leads to accumulation of larger and larger plaques. The bigger the plaque becomes, the more unstable and liable to rupture it is. Another interesting fact the author relays regarding these plaques is that, of the fats contained in them, the majority is not the “evil” saturated fats most doctors blame. It is the unsaturated fats, like those found in the vegetable and cooking oils most used today, that are the predominant fats present in the core of atherosclerotic plaques.

The Monday Mention: Put Your Heart in Your Mouth by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Want to understand the root cause of heart disease? Start here!

The book doesn’t just describe how we come to develop heart disease but lays out ways that we can avoid it. Incorporating whole, organic, properly prepared foods into our diets and avoiding the processed foods and sugar which encourage inflammation either directly or by causing nutrient deficiencies that impair our inflammatory response. As the “Gut Health Girl”, I was glad to see a portion of the book dedicated to the importance of digestive health and the microbiome in supporting cardiovascular well-being. Hippocrates famously said that “All disease begins in the gut” and this includes cardiovascular disease! A healthy gut has beneficial bacteria that produce and release several vitamins crucial to protecting the cardiovascular system. When we are deficient in Vitamin K2, we see greater deposition of calcium in the arteries (arteriosclerosis) and more inflammation. Homocysteine, an amino acid that is very caustic to the lining of our blood vessels, is held at bay by adequate amounts of folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. All of these are manufactured by our gut flora.

In reading through this book, I noticed how strongly Dr. Campbell-McBride’s writing correlates with what I discuss with my Nutritional Therapy clients. From the idea that the modern Western diet is at the core of most disease to how stress management, attitude and movement all play a role in supporting health, we are on the same mission to inform and empower people to optimize their health. I found the book enjoyable to read and thought the author explained some complex subjects in a way that is very easy to understand. I think many of you would appreciate both how approachable she has made the information and that she provides a nice selection of recipes as a starting point to eating healthier and preventing heart disease.

If you’d like to learn more about Nutritional Therapy and how it can support your body’s innate ability to heal, fill out the Contact Me form on my website!

Rating 5 Peaks
PEAK rating – 5/5 peaks!!

Egg Myths and Misconception

Eggs - Myths & Misconceptions

This is the second in a three post series on the “Incredible, edible EGG”. In part one, we took a tour of the grocery store and deciphered just what all those different labels on the egg cartons mean. If you missed it, you can check it out here. Today we’re going to look at a couple of common misconceptions surrounding eggs.


A common misconception is that brown shelled eggs are healthier or more natural than their white shelled counterparts. The truth is that shell colour has nothing to do with nutrition, but is simply dictated by the breed of hen that laid that egg.

Who else just found out today that chickens have ear lobes?!

Consuming Eggs Will Raise Your Cholesterol Level

Eggs have gotten a bad wrap because of the cholesterol contained in their yolks. Many people have been led to believe that eggs should be avoided, or strictly limited, particularly if you have high cholesterol levels. 

Cholesterol is often seen as a “bad guy”. In actuality, cholesterol plays a vital role in our health. We need cholesterol to make healthy cell membranes. It is also necessary for the production of steroid hormones like cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. Cholesterol is also the main building block for Vitamin D (for more about the importance of adequate Vitamin D, check out this blog post).

Because of all the important roles played by cholesterol, the body works to ensure that there is always adequate cholesterol present. Cholesterol is produced in the body by the liver. When we take in more cholesterol through our diet, the liver decreases the amount of cholesterol it produces to keep levels within normal range. If we are eating less cholesterol, the liver revs up the cholesterol making machine. When we understand this, we can see that a healthy body will maintain fairly consistent cholesterol levels. The source of the cholesterol (dietary or self-made) may change, but the levels remain fairly constant.

In short, consuming eggs regularly does not impact blood cholesterol levels to any significant degree. (1)

Ok – if all that is true, how come my cholesterol levels are high?

You may be surprised to hear that cholesterol is a healing agent in the body and acts as an antioxidant. So when our cholesterol levels are high, it means that the body is recruiting this healing cholesterol to try and deal with some kind of inflammation or damage. Identifying and removing the cause of this inflammation (say by working with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) should be the goal, instead of immediately attacking the cholesterol levels with pharmaceuticals.(2)

I could go on and on about cholesterol and it’s role in keeping us healthy. If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend the book Put Your Heart In Your Mouth by Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride.

In the last post of this three part “Eggstavaganza”, we are finally going to dig into the nutrient value of the humble egg. Stay tuned!


  1. Kim, J.E.; Campbell, W.W. Dietary Cholesterol Contained in Whole Eggs Is Not Well Absorbed and Does Not Acutely Affect Plasma Total Cholesterol Concentration in Men and Women: Results from 2 Randomized Controlled Crossover Studies. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1272.
  2. Campbell-McBride MD, N. (2016). Put Your Heart In Your Mouth. Mediform Publishing.